Clarke finalists named

Five
finalists have been selected for the 2010 Joanna Clarke Excellence in Education
Award.

According
to a dms advisory, Bodden Town Primary School, Cayman Prep and High School,
George Town Primary School, John Gray High School and The Wellness Centre have
been selected from 13 applicants by the Joanna Clarke Committee.

The
award, now in its fourth year, marks the exemplary service of longtime local
educator Joanna Clarke and grants up to $12,000 annually to local education
initiatives.

Chairperson
of the Joanne Clarke Excellence in Education Award Committee Joanna Clarke
commented: “Each year I continue to be impressed with the level of enthusiasm
we receive as applicants, passionate about the betterment of our youth, put
forth innovative and worthy initiatives.

“It
is challenging when it comes to selecting the finalists and winners alike, but
we do our best to ensure that the initiatives selected align with the criteria
we have established. I am also impressed with dms’ commitment to investing in
our youth – they have demonstrated tremendous corporate responsibility and I
hope that other firms continue to provide much needed private funding to
contribute towards the enrichment of our youth.”

This
award is not limited to mainstream education initiatives and is open to all
entities which seek to enrich the lives of Cayman’s youth, the advisory said.

This
year’s finalists presented their projects and took part in a question and answer
session last week.

 The 2010 winner(s) will be announced Saturday,
22 May at LUCA restaurant.

Bodden Town Primary School proposed
an initiative titled Beyond School, which seeks to enrich the way students
spend their time out of school, as well as in school. It is targeted toward
students who have demonstrated challenges in best using their talents, and will
serve to ignite a passion for learning, encouraging them to concentrate on
their studies through innovative and exciting methods.

Cayman
Prep and High School recently introduced a marine science programme as a
two-year A-level course, which can be used for advanced credit at North
American universities. They require funding to continue to offer a host of
off-site excursions that provide invaluable hands-on experience for students.

George
Town Primary School applied for the grant to support its Digital Visual Media
Club, which equips students with the necessary skills to integrate literacy
with media. This programme teaches students proficiency in various digital,
visual, broadcasting and photojournalism applications, as well as the opportunity
to explore careers in the relevant industries.

 

John
Gray High School requires funding to purchase dive equipment for its Scuba
Diving Club. The club seeks to heighten awareness for environmental and marine
conservation, and the equipment will assist in making diving more accessible to
students after they have completed their open-water dive course. 

The
Wellness Centre requested funding to assist with a soon-to-be-launched project
titled Autism in the Classroom, a two-day comprehensive training programme for
teachers. It is aimed at increasing awareness and providing teachers of
children with Autism Spectrum Disorder with research-based training through an
interactive and supportive learning opportunity.

dms
Vice President and Joanna Clarke Excellence in Education Award committee member
Krista Pell said: “We commend all of our applicants on their endeavours to
steer the youth of Cayman in the right direction, providing invaluable
opportunities to capitalise on their talents and use their free time in
productive ways.

“It
is incredibly rewarding to learn just how many dedicated professionals we have
in the education community, and we look forward to continuing to do our part to
fund as many deserving projects as possible. This award process… generates
public interest in education enabling the potential for alternative funding
from other sources.”

Previous
recipients of the Joanna Clarke Excellence in Education Award include last
year’s winner, the National Council of Voluntary Organisation’s Nadine Andreas
Residential Foster Home for its Accessing Computer Aided Learning programme and
runner-up, Cayman Islands Scout Association for the Cayman Islands Scout Band.

The
2008 recipient was John Gray High School for its Blueprint for Literacy initiative,
which aimed to ensure that all high school students, on graduation, will be
able to perform at their grade levels and pass at least four external exams.

The
2007 recipient was Savannah Primary School PTA, which used the
funding to pay for new playground equipment.

Mrs.
Pell said: “dms is committed to giving back to our community through various
donations, sponsorship and volunteer efforts, and in particular, Cayman’s youth
– our future.

“This
award is a progression of that ongoing commitment. We also wanted to take the
opportunity to express our appreciation to the many local media entities that
continue to show support in heightening awareness about this award – it is
truly a community effort.” 

For
more details about the Joanna Clarke Excellence in Education Award, contact
Tara Tvedt-Pearson, dms Organisation Ltd. project coordinator, at 749-2407 or t[email protected].

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